Pondering the Beautiful and Complicated Contradiction That Is Josh Groban and His New Song "Brave"

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I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that you, dear reader, are probably not in the Josh Groban demographic. I'm not exactly sure what the Josh Groban demographic is, but I'm almost certain it doesn't involve reading blogs, or knowing what they are. My guess is that Josh Groban fans stick to the Missing Child Prayer Alert/My Google Won't Download corners of the web. I'm not in his demographic either, but for some reason I find Josh Groban fascinating.

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He's a man of contradictions. Actually, just one contradiction: his music, in the jargon of serious criticism, sucks. It sucks in the plainest and most classic way; it Michael Bolton sucks; it Celine Dion sucks. It's almost adorable that something could still suck so quaintly in the 21st century. On the other hand, he seems like a genuinely cool, funny, self-aware and handsome guy. It's tough to reconcile, like when MTV would do specials where they rode around in Blink 182's van: at first you think, Wow, I could totally hang out with these hombres, but then they play a clip of their music and you remember why you've been calling in bomb threats to all their concerts.

There must be some good reason for it. Groban is with-it enough that he ought to be able to listen to "You Raise Me Up" and go, "Hey, my song huffs mad doo," but still he persists in lame-o schlock for boring people. I don't know why. Maybe he thinks he's typecast by his bellowing voice and loveable face, or maybe he's just a super good grandson and he wants to make nice songs that his family can be proud of at Christmastime. My best guess is that he's got his niche, he makes his money, and he goes home and listens to Einstürzende Neubauten.

Considering all my Groban ambivalence, I'll try to be fair in my review of his new single, "Brave," from his upcoming album All That Echoes (grammar watch, homie: should be All Those Echoes). It would be easy enough to kick around the square-ass popera dweeb song from my lofty perch in the hep bloggo catbird, but I'll focus on the positive.


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142 comments
ze-mouse
ze-mouse

@soundofthecity @joshgroban    I can't be bothered to see if anyone else picked up on this but I'm a pedant so I can't let it go. 

You got your sarcastic grammar point wrong. Although the title could be referring to the echoes themselves, its more likely denoting the things that cause the echoes, a parallel phrase being 'all that glitters... is not gold'. Echoes is a verb in this case not a noun, so 'that' is correct. 

If you're going to snarkily correct someone's grammar, make sure you're right. 

Aside from this your mock(ing) review was quite interesting.

cuquita0303
cuquita0303

@soundofthecity @joshgroban Wow, u can't think of anything else to do with your time than bash on someone who's level you will never be on?

kksdeloach
kksdeloach

@soundofthecity @joshgroban the first paragraph bored me. I stopped reading the review so I may continue my day in a state of consciousness.

stephenburanyi
stephenburanyi

@JamesBuranyi waitaminute did you really send me the josh groban article when there's one called "how to stop masturbating to 50 cent?"

judysdreamin
judysdreamin

@soundofthecity @joshgroban Be certain that you realize the author of this idiotic creation -who-did-he-blow-to get-this job. The Voice was.

sajones55
sajones55

I totally disagree with your small-minded article.  Josh's demographic is from kids to seniors and everything in between.  Women adore Josh, not only for his amazing voice, but because he's kind, funny, generous and he treats his fans very well.  

ohhelloxoxo
ohhelloxoxo

@boring_as_heck @Arr link isnt workin

manhat0808
manhat0808

Cool Article. Too bad John Groblin doesn't have a sense of humor :-\

virgiltexas
virgiltexas

@boring_as_heck @arr I wonder if some poor kid ever grew up watching only Disney ripoffs and references them like they're shared culture

000___000
000___000

@boring_as_heck @Arr that's fucking hilarious, but also it's pretty honest and fair imo.

heySMM
heySMM

@boring_as_heck @Arr imagining him listening to Einstürzende Neubauten is my dose of post-doo-huffing atropine.

milkohol
milkohol

@boring_as_heck @Arr ahahah holy shit

heySMM
heySMM

@boring_as_heck @Arr ahahahahaja

Arr
Arr

@boring_as_heck thanks dogg I wrote it on a whim and told my editor “you probably don’t want to put this up, it’s fucking dumb”

SSSSASSSY
SSSSASSSY

@soundofthecity @joshgroban actually I do read blogs. But only good ones so I've ignored yours. Do you just go for snotty? #notalent.

Johbert_NB
Johbert_NB

@soundofthecity Write a comedy piece aimed at some famous guy with a thick hide like @joshgroban, fans revolt & you get attention. I get it.

4cast4you
4cast4you

@soundofthecity I am literally the exact opposite of what you think @joshgroban demo is. Your review stinks.

claireangel2
claireangel2

@soundofthecity @joshgroban Your review sucks.

sccnoj94
sccnoj94

@villagevoice wth kind of article is this. I am only in my twenties. Josh has fans of all ages, males and females. Get your facts straight.

kjgpartridge
kjgpartridge

When I read a review, I expect it to display some knowledge. Expertise, even. You don't have to like the music, but try to say something intelligent about it instead of wasting readers' time with a bunch of ignorant, poorly written spouting.

kidsdogscats
kidsdogscats

@soundofthecity @joshgroban Obviously doesn't know crap about Groban's fans.

Pupster_2000
Pupster_2000

@soundofthecity @joshgroban It's not journalism when your first paragraph repeatedly states "I don't know what I'm talking about." #BuyAClue

Segaholic2
Segaholic2

@Arr your review is very funny and i enjoyed it more than any josh groban album

Sexhammer
Sexhammer

@Arr If nothing else, you've introduced RapGenius to me, and for that, I'll try to fill the Groban-sized hole in your heart.

Remy4242
Remy4242

@soundofthecity HA! His fans are world wide, both genders, & all ages. Yes we know what blogs are & which ones are worthwhile. Your's isn't.

jasb102706
jasb102706

@soundofthecity @joshgroban wow that was a review?! Lets hear u sing something amazing for us "boring" people. .....lots of bad words to u.

moonchild_1
moonchild_1

@soundofthecity @joshgroban U remind me of someone who's tryin to be relevant in the "review" world but ain't gonna make it. Need followers?

bizmarkiedesade
bizmarkiedesade

@Arr which frozen hellhole do you two have to truck off to now? That's how this works right?

HunkyJimpjorps
HunkyJimpjorps

@Arr today I learned you wear your body as a hat

joshgroban
joshgroban

@soundofthecity review? A lame hatchet job from someone who wouldn't know good music if it jumped up and hired him at a once-great paper.

JamesBuranyi
JamesBuranyi

@stephenburanyi The Groban one was just the first one I read

ze-mouse
ze-mouse

@manhat0808 watch him on the British programme 'never mind the buzzcocks' he was pretty damn funny, maybe he just has an english sense of humour...

JamesShafie
JamesShafie

@Arr holy shit everyone hates you in the comments ahaha

alissarules
alissarules

@Arr @boring_as_heck That was really funny, although my mom loves Josh Groban a lot more than someone should.

boring_as_heck
boring_as_heck

@Arr wth kind of article is this. I am only in my twenties. Josh has fans of all ages, males and females. Get your facts straight.

73tm
73tm

@joshgroban To @soundofthecity You obviously have very poor hearing & no taste in music !! Rethink your career choice your shit at this!!

LivingGoodJJ
LivingGoodJJ

@joshgroban @soundofthecity This 'review' is like a Milli Vanilli song. A lot of dancing and faking.

Timpanist
Timpanist

@joshgroban @soundofthecity David who???????

celeste29051471
celeste29051471

@joshgroban @soundofthecity Wow. Your review of "Brave" showcases your arrogance and ignorance--about music, talent,grammar & humanity.

4yourfreedom1
4yourfreedom1

@joshgroban @soundofthecity You should understand him. It's hard for him to accept he's the tail...

4yourfreedom1
4yourfreedom1

@joshgroban @soundofthecity You should understand him. It's hard to be the tail...

tt7227
tt7227

@joshgroban @soundofthecity Amazing. I am the demographic that shoouldn't but does know what a blog is! Lovely lyrics. #JGrocks #usuck!

darorr
darorr

@joshgroban @soundofthecity Josh you have a way with words. I would have just said, fuck off asshole!

Zohar_7
Zohar_7

@soundofthecity Re @joshgroban review: The reason you don't get the music is because Josh is a mensch and you are merely a pompous ass

AnneDASHMarie
AnneDASHMarie

@joshgroban Seriously?! This review surely must be a joke or a desperate attempt of a guy looking for your attention. @soundofthecity

irldovahkiin
irldovahkiin

@joshgroban why would music give you a job at a newspaper?

Rene_Nascimento
Rene_Nascimento

@joshgroban @soundofthecity I thought "journalists" should be impartial and do research in order to do their jobs. Apparently not...

HokeyPokeyTime
HokeyPokeyTime

@joshgroban Ha.The fact that he doesn't even grammatically understand the album title kind of says it all.

DJ4JG
DJ4JG

@joshgroban @soundofthecity Save the voice. Save your breath... an opinion is like an _ s s _ _ _ _ everybody's got one...

HuggerTree
HuggerTree

@joshgroban @soundofthecity his fans don't read blogs and don't know what they are?god you have no idea what you are talking about XD #wtf

elizzzibeth
elizzzibeth

@joshgroban did you take this guy's lolly pop Josh??? You can completely ignore this as feedback IMO. Brave is a great song-one of the best

Koeshey
Koeshey

@joshgroban @soundofthecity I've been a fan of Josh since 15. I'm well educated, tech-savvy, and charismatic. You sir, have poor taste.

elizzzibeth
elizzzibeth

@joshgroban @soundofthecity wow-such an angry attack.It almost sounds like jealously -mean and vengeful -says nothing about music at all

elizzzibeth
elizzzibeth

@joshgroban GO JOSH!! Some people think a keyboard and a plug give them super powers !!

debs77777
debs77777

@joshgroban you still win ;) Some wannabe writers can only get attention by attacking those with real talent....

alanhuddart
alanhuddart

@joshgroban Perhaps David Thorpe (whoever he is) should come back and criticise when he's sold 26 million albums

tatidcoco
tatidcoco

@joshgroban began gross behaviour :( Why do you care and answer?

HeidiJsaiggO
HeidiJsaiggO

@joshgroban @soundofthecity ha,ha,ha.....good words Joshua...enjoy there and smile so much . besitos.JS

Arr
Arr

Hey @joshgroban, I still love you. I hope our professional differences won't drive us apart.

Glorygirlone
Glorygirlone

@joshgroban @soundofthecity !!!!!!!!!more of what Josh said!!!!!

tatidcoco
tatidcoco

@joshgroban Ok, video of Brave is very beautiful, but something is missing. Where is Sweeney?? I heard "auuuuu" in the middle of the choir.

RedHeadedGurl
RedHeadedGurl

@joshgroban Why give this asshole the time of day? He has no fucking clue who you are, who ur fans are or what music is. #notworthyourtime

soundofthecity
soundofthecity

Makes perfect sense RT: @LivingGoodJJ @joshgroban @soundofthecity This 'review' is like a Milli Vanilli song. A lot of dancing and faking.

Glorygirlone
Glorygirlone

@Timpanist @joshgroban @soundofthecity David Tape your lips to your forehead

jiyahkelly
jiyahkelly

@HokeyPokeyTime That. Was. A. Joke.

TracyAnne32
TracyAnne32

@DJ4JG @joshgroban @soundofthecity Well said DJ!!!

Arr
Arr

Ive only sold 22mil :( RT @alanhuddart Perhaps David Thorpe (whoever he is) should come back and criticise when he's sold 26 million albums

Glorygirlone
Glorygirlone

@RedHeadedGurl @joshgroban I like you Josh Groban..we dislike the same people..I knew you were smart!!

123francaisF
123francaisF

@soundofthecity @joshgroban oops got #Thorpe's name wrong MAYB b/c he is a #Thorn IN MY SIDE a name I never want to remember like GROBAN

kimberlysjoy
kimberlysjoy

@soundofthecity @joshgroban what's that you say Josh? You have sold 27 million plus albums? WOW, a lot of people with bad taste! #LUVJOSH

rflagg5
rflagg5

@soundofthecity @joshgroban @Arr Honestly! That was an inaccurate, ignorant, sour display of journalism. Now I will continue being boring..

kathleene
kathleene

@soundofthecity jealous much?

jasb102706
jasb102706

@soundofthecity @joshgroban what else do u do besides write trash? U have no concept of good music!

TracyAnne32
TracyAnne32

@soundofthecity @joshgroban IGNORAMUS! But what do I know? I will just leave it at what Josh said. Love you Josh!

LivingGoodJJ
LivingGoodJJ

@cuquita0303 @soundofthecity @joshgroban it's ok, read the author's bio. Humorist. It was a bit of fun.

cuquita0303
cuquita0303

@soundofthecity @LivingGoodJJ @joshgroban Your so-called "review" is fake journalism.

Glorygirlone
Glorygirlone

@LivingGoodJJ @joshgroban it's terrible when something is misconstrued and you can't fix it right away...JOSH..she's a fan. not an attacker.

Glorygirlone
Glorygirlone

@LivingGoodJJ should you wander in the nut grove..we'll let you in...

LivingGoodJJ
LivingGoodJJ

@Glorygirlone aw thanks. I only qualify as a fan, I'm not at the 'nut level. That's a special kind of dedication. A Mama Bear I am always.

LivingGoodJJ
LivingGoodJJ

@Glorygirlone @joshgroban Thanks. He won't see it here. Can you imagine the fan letter I'm writing . . . so about that milli vanilli thing.

Glorygirlone
Glorygirlone

@LivingGoodJJ @joshgroban yeah,sometimes things get muddled.You might wanna tell him you're a fan of his,and SooC was the target,not Josh :)

LivingGoodJJ
LivingGoodJJ

still horrified that @joshgroban thinks I called him Milli Vanili. #misunderstood

Glorygirlone
Glorygirlone

@LivingGoodJJ I didn't think you were,you sound well informed and bright..welcome to the Mama Bear Club!! there's always room for Grobanuts.

LivingGoodJJ
LivingGoodJJ

@Glorygirlone I don't get to be the mama bear? Darn, i was all ready with my bad analogies and questionable wit. Not attacking Josh

Glorygirlone
Glorygirlone

@LivingGoodJJ sorry you were inadvertently included.:) I was referring to the guy who was way off base,didn't have facts and went after Josh

Glorygirlone
Glorygirlone

@LivingGoodJJ what?don't know what you mean,gonna read above stuff.brb.ok,I see.unless you were also attacking Josh,it wasn't aimed at you.

LivingGoodJJ
LivingGoodJJ

@Glorygirlone @judysdreamin Thanks ladies, you made my morning.

judysdreamin
judysdreamin

@joshgroban @soundofthecity @LivingGoodJJ See, I knew you could dance.ya big faker.I want 2 dance 2 Harvest Moon w/ you,once in my lifetime.

Glorygirlone
Glorygirlone

@judysdreamin @joshgroban @soundofthecity @LivingGoodJJ you aren't foolish

judysdreamin
judysdreamin

@Glorygirlone @judysdreamin @joshgroban @soundofthecity @LivingGoodJJ Oh, my. Not important. Thank you for your tolerance of my foolishness.

Glorygirlone
Glorygirlone

@judysdreamin @joshgroban @soundofthecity @LivingGoodJJ little more caffeine and he'll kick their scrawny butts.one mad mama bear behind him

judysdreamin
judysdreamin

@Glorygirlone @joshgroban @soundofthecity @LivingGoodJJ No more caffeine. This is Mr.Groban's vacation b4 the wildness begins.sweet dreams.

Glorygirlone
Glorygirlone

@joshgroban @soundofthecity @LivingGoodJJ Josh,more caffeine and then go get 'em! we're right behind you!

judysdreamin
judysdreamin

@joshgroban @soundofthecity @LivingGoodJJ But, friend, there can be nothing lovlier than dancing in the rain, just not alone....

LivingGoodJJ
LivingGoodJJ

@LeftFieldMGMT @soundofthecity @joshgroban was about the quality of the article. I'd debate you about JG but the article had no substance.

LeftFieldMGMT
LeftFieldMGMT

@soundofthecity @LivingGoodJJ @joshgroban when will you review John Tesh, Kenny G, and Yanni?!

LeftFieldMGMT
LeftFieldMGMT

@soundofthecity @LivingGoodJJ @joshgroban you do realize you're arguing about JOSH GROBAN right?

clara_cooke
clara_cooke

@joshgroban you retweet everyone but me and @andiekohrs #tease

joshgroban
joshgroban

@soundofthecity @livinggoodjj I blame everything on the rain. Then I dance about it. But I'm faking. Sooooo...

Sbrangerfan
Sbrangerfan

@Arr @alanhuddart hey buddy, you think lung cancer is bad? Why don't you go sell 40 trillion cigarettes and then we can talk

datroof
datroof

@Arr @alanhuddart Perhaps Alan Huddart (whoever he is) should come back and criticise when his name stops rhyming with "buttered"

LeeWSabo
LeeWSabo

@Arr @alanhuddart Perhaps Harold Bloom (whoever he is) should come back and criticize when he's been dead for 400 years.

AnonymousRobot
AnonymousRobot

@Arr @alanhuddart Ey maybe you can spout off about how killing Jews is bad when you've killed six million of em, buster.

tinybaby
tinybaby

@Arr @alanhuddart perhaps Alan Huddart (whoever he is) should come back and criticise when he's finished 15 shrimp cocktails in one sitting

DuncanIdunno
DuncanIdunno

@Arr @alanhuddart imagine someone using album sales figures to defend Nickelback

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